#livelifeyellow - It’s all about the journey!

By Alex Egan
18/12/18

It’s been a year since our maiden voyage aboard the Yellow Sub.  To celebrate, we are embarking on another epic journey - a 1,500 km charity bike ride from London to the Mediterranean! 

When we created Yellow Sub Geo, we wanted to make a difference. To do something bigger than ourselves.  And so we set the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (#UNSDGs or #GlobalGoals) as our strategic direction of travel, and began our journey to encourage and promote a more sustainable use of the planet through our business (best decision we have made so far!).  With our ‘why’; our purpose and direction of travel so clearly defined, picking out the right commercial paths, or events to support has been so much easier. And what better place to positively engage on sustainable development issues than at MIPIM, the largest gathering of the commercial property sector in the world, held annually in Cannes on the French Riviera.  There is also something personally I find quite satisfying about the idea of brazenly parking up our quirky little Yellow Sub next to the super-yachts in the harbour (metaphorically of course....for now at least – watch this space!). 

In keeping with our ethos, it is only fitting that we cut an alternative path to most of the rest of the 26,000 delegates and travel to MIPIM under our own steam, by bike and for charity.  The cycle to MIPIM is an important part of our journey towards us living and breathing the UN SDGs.  If you don’t know what these goals are, please take do take a look (https://www.globalgoals.org/ -  Goal #17 is all about sharing the Goals and creating partnerships).  The cycle is organised by the charity Club Peloton (https://clubpeloton.org/) in order to raise money for Coram, a children’s charity that has blazed the trail in delivering many of the Goals since 1739! (https://www.coram.org.uk/difference-we-make)

So how hard will it be?

Starting in central London on the 7th March 2019 and finishing just 6 days later and 1,500 km away on the French Riviera, this is going to one serious adventure.  (I’m doing the white route through Calais).  If you do the maths, we need to be covering an average of 250 km (155 miles) per day, every day for 6 days, riding from maybe 6:30am to after 10pm.

For a little context, cycling 250 km in a day is well over 3 times as far as I’ve ridden in a single day before (or a week or even a month).  And I’ll need to do that for six consecutive days!  Before committing to this challenge early in the summer of 2018, I didn’t have a functioning road bike (I’m a mountain biker really) and I could count on one hand the number of times I’d ridden more than say 50km.  On top of this, there is the not insignificant challenge of a £3,000 fundraising target, plus a host of associated time and collateral costs (not least a rising food bill and some new clothes because my current wardrobe is already starting to look a little baggy!).  On every front, this is a serious and daunting challenge, and one that I absolutely could not hope to even enter into without a lot of help from a whole bunch of people (too many to name here already but thanks in particular to my lovely wife and family – Awesome! xx).

How YOU can help

It’s a long way down to Cannes and an epic journey in prospect.  The endless winter training rides and preparation has already begun.  The best part about any real adventure is the necessity to trust and rely upon the kindness of others.  Please help with the fundraising if you can - any and all donations very gratefully received. Otherwise, I’ll take all the moral support and encouragement I can get!

The fundraising page is here: https://my.race-nation.co.uk/sponsorship/entry/155821

Please also follow us on our social media channels (Strava, Instagram, Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter) to keep up to date with progress.   

#cycletomipim / #clubpeloton  /  #yellowsubgeo

Why MIPIM?

For those outside of the Commercial Property World, MIPIM is the annual gathering of international movers and shakers, business owners and investors. It is very much a corporate affair, heavily populated by all the leading brands, big PLCs and global financial institutions.  We’ve set out to make a difference in the world, and we aren’t going to achieve this without getting out into the world and pushing sustainability up the agenda with those best placed to make the biggest difference.  This is why we have decided to be part of the MIPIM conversation. 

As you might imagine, MIPIM is expensive to attend.  This tends to screen out most small and medium sized business, and indeed a good number of the larger businesses and PLCs too.  So, just a year into starting a new enterprise, it is perhaps a little ‘unreasonable’ to expect a seat at this particular table (or indeed a mooring for our Sub in the harbour!). Personally; I’ve always loved these words of wisdom from George Bernard Shaw: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”  (Or woman of course! #equality – Goal #5).

And so, the idea, of cycling to MIPIM was born.  A simple idea, paired with unreasonable ambition (and, if I’m honest, motivated strongly by the visual metaphor of our Yellow Sub parked up next to the super-yachts!).  Ideas are, however, delicate things and rarely survive on their own, particularly the big crazy ones like this.  For ideas to manifest into reality, they need to be shared, supported, planned and well financed. 

I shared an initial ember of this idea with some friends, who to their credit, stoked up the fire and provide some much-appreciated knowledge, support and enthusiasm (thanks in particular to Mike & Emily at Vectos – you guys rock!).  In parallel, a conversation with the lovely people at Property Insurance Initiatives Ltd (http://piiuk.com/ ) secured the £2,000 entrance fee. Thanks guys - you certainly shortened the ‘unreasonable’ odds and I wouldn’t have gotten even this far without you. So just the small matter of £3000 and 1500km left….

See you out there!

Alex

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